How Fair Were Those Summonses Issued By Howell Police?

Over a dozen motorists were reportedly ticketed on Friday after allegedly driving through a blocked road on Squankum Road, but according to what some of those ticketed are telling TLS, the tickets could have been unfairly issued.

When officials initially asked that TLS post a notice about the detour, we were under the impression that drivers  were actually disregarding the marked barriers and cones and deliberately driving around them.

However, according to the accounts of several motorists, it wasn’t so.

One motorist tells TLS he was driving along the flow of traffic up Squankum Road, when before he knew it he, along with about a dozen other motorists, found himself being stopped by a Howell Police Officer. The problem? a driver earlier may have moved the barrier – which was never put back into place, and these motorists were just following the now-open road.

About 20 vehicles in all were stopped together, and most of them were issued summonses, according to the accounts given to TLS. After those vehicles were stopped, the police reportedly closed the road again.

The following is a letter submitted to TLS by Jim Franklin, one of those issued summonses at the time:

“I also received a ticket. The officer was angry and rude when he approached my vehicle. I was one of the last vehicles to be stopped. When I opened my door to step out to take photos I was told by the officer to get back in my vehicle or I would be arrested. Mind you the roadway was blocked and I sat in my vehicle of over a half hour. I went to the police department and spoke with the officer in charge. I was told the officer was probably acting this way because he had been working too many hours. I was also told that he was angry because people had been moving this barricade. When I questioned why I would be ticketed for driving into a dangerous area because someone else removed a barricade, the officer in charge said everyone who was stopped was being ticketed, and that the officers were still in the process of writing the tickets. The way these officers acted was inexcusable. I will be fighting this ticket.”

TLS will monitor this incident and how it plays itself out.

 

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38 COMMENTS

  1. As a side note the supreme court ruled that, if you are pulled over for a ticket and kept for more than 15 min, it becomes an unlawful detainment and the officer can be charged

  2. This has to be dealt with on a class action suit. (moderated) ESQ shall make an OPRA or subpena all of the tickets issued at that time. Get witnesses to testify that there were no barriers at the time. The NJ Statute is very clear “a barrier” must be in place in order to violate the Statute.

  3. This is a chutzpah and abuse of power, its not thus first time that Howell police took advantage of the weather situation, after sandy hit there was a road blocked by a downed tree and people had to make u-turns in order to get out because the road was completely blocked by a tree, so there was a Howell police waiting down the road to give tickets to people for making u-turns. Are these people who we are supposed to look up to? Taking advantage from people during a crisis? These officers must get reprimanded for their actions and not just have all their tickets dismissed! And i would look into all these officers summonses because if they can do such a thing then they’re capable of giving other bogus tickets

  4. I always believe in following the law: no cell phones, stopping at red lights and stop signs, etc. However, most of us were without power for almost two weeks. It was difficult getting around, getting gas, food, and trying to keep our kids warm. We were lucky that we have a fireplace. We found the cones to be more confusing. And yes, most of the cones were either hit or moved. I didn’t receive a ticket, but feel for those of you who did. You think the town would give people a break. I hope you all fight back. Send an editorial to the press.

  5. The Farmingdale police are not much better. Tickets are given out to drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians and the whole thing is a setup the pedestrians are cops. This happens right in town and try and fight it $459 later you’re screwed with or without a lawyer.

  6. To Hey Lakewooder says (Einstein): people DO have the right to complain when they believe that they were treated unfairly. This was a storm that NJ has never seen. We were all dealing with a lot of confusion, and driving was one of them, so give the residents a break this time.

  7. my advise stay far away from squanqum road and take county line out of lkwd and exit 91 returning to lkwd
    whether it be on an early erev shabbos back up at the light before 195 or police traps waiting for you “playing gotcha”
    or the issue being addressed now
    when you cant beat em stay away dont put yourself in a situation where you’ll regret it later on

  8. There are several issues that should be examined in the instant case. I will mention just a few at this point.

    First. An officer sworn to uphold the law has NO authority to mistreat citizens in a rude or abrasive manner. In most PD’s an officer exhibiting signs of anger or not being able to properly cope with the expected stress of his job would be sent to coping/stress/anger management classes for starters..

    To be courteous is part of being a professional. To be dis-courteous (and certainly worse) is UN-professional and breeds dis-respect for the badge.

    Second. Closer scrutiny should be given to the amount of time each individual was detained. Were there truly no other officers in the entire Howell (or neighboring) police department available to assist – to the point where motorists were unreasonably detained and confined to their seats for 30+ minutes by one officer??

    Third. I would depose and cross-examine the said officer concerning his testimony that a proper barrier/signage was erected and in place for each motorist to see before he/she entered the roadway..

    Additionally, the horrible episode posted at comment # 6 seems to indeed indicate a level of prejudice by officers at this PD against innocent motorists. Don’t we all wonder what the ticketing officer would have done in his private vehicle given the same circumstances?

    I’m beginning to sense something pervasive within the department, and it sure doesn’t seem good!

  9. In a state of emergrency people should be more careful to show respect for G-d given public servants, traffic, Civl and Safety rules. These are in place for ALL people!!!!!

  10. A veran LPD officer that recently retired told me that he does not drive through Howell Twp, even though he is a cop himself. He said they have problem dealing with human beings. They must be under pressure to bring in the dollars$ to the Township. Let’s notify the larger stores in Howell that we will shop in Brick, Toms river, Eatontown etc “not howell”.

  11. To # 15,

    You have some real nerve trying to twist a story and manipulate it to the exact opposite of what it was!!

    Can’t you read English!!? Or is you deliberately ignoring the facts to suit your hate-craving appetite??

    Geez..

  12. While Howell cops are notoriously the meanest in New Jersey, It should be noted that cops are terrified every time they pull someone over. Is this going to be the idiot who guns me down. If you’re pulled over DO NOT attempt to leave your vehicle with out clearly stating your intention to the officer.

  13. To Joe Lake – it must have been the same cop that was nice to mean by downgrading my ticket. He may be the only nice cop in Howell. If I knew his name I’d give him a commendation.

  14. This episode should be pubblicized and brought to the attention of Governer Christie. In a time when Police Depts all over NJ are going out of their way to help the citizens its supposed to protect. The Howell Pd is out in full force ticketting motorists and abusing their power.

  15. To: lakewood Resi says:
    November 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    After reading your comment(s) it seems to me that the ‘state of emergency’ exists in your mind … get help quick …

  16. A non Jewish friend of mine who is an ems in Howell hangs out at the fire station( I believe it was there ) where they have pool tables and the first responders hang out there. He told me that the Howell police always brag about how many tickets they gave out that day and who gave the most interesting one. It’s a game to them they don’t care who they give the tickets to.

  17. I was pulled over Friday Morning around 7:45. The cop did NOT issue a ticket. He just asked me why I was following the car in front of me and he told me that would have been a 8 point ticket that is he is NOT giving me. I was grateful. He was aware that the cones were removed by someone else.

  18. I am sorry but I have been pulled over by Howell police on a few occasions and never once was any of the officers nasty in any way with me. Any time I got pulled over was my fault, either I didn’t have my seat belt on or speeding whatever it was I was wrong, and they were nice. It is an officers job to keep the public safe even from it self. Now I know Lakewood officers are just as diligent at there jobs but somehow I still see parents drive around with children not belted in there seats, people driving while texting or talking on the cell phone, and not many people in Lakewood (unless traveling out of town) wear a seat belt. The development I live in people are always walking in the street instead of the sidewalk where it is safe. That’s all off topic here people just follow the law. I know there was a sign there showing the road was closed, I was up and down the road many times that day. Just because the car in front of you does it doesn’t mean you can and get away with it. Follow the law and you will never have to worry about having an encounter with a nasty cop.

  19. #2 the court ruling you are trying to recite is if you are detained for more thaqn 15 minutes without Proable cause it could be an unlawful detainment,however while being lawfully stop as in this case then 15 minutes doesn;t come into play. Break the law take the punishment even if the office as some have said was rude,,Rude is not against the law

  20. Nothing new here. Howell police are known to be very rude and careless.

    Did everyone forget the story that happened last year when an unmarked car tried to pull a women driving all by herself late at night??

    They are very insensitive and uncaring.

    Its about time we put a stop to this.

    Where’s Christie when we need him.

    Time to call the freeholder and assemblymans’ office.

  21. This whole game of cops playing “Gotcha!” Is ridiculous. The latest game is off rt 9 at Freehold mall where as soon as u get off the highway the speed limit goes down to 25 on the road up to the mall. EVERYONE is doing about 35 there. The Freehold cops sit there over the crest of the hill with a radar gun and pull over about a dozen cars at a time. All day. It’s a real game. Your tax dollars at work.

  22. #16
    Let’s notify the larger stores in Howell that we will shop in Brick, Toms river, Eatontown etc “not howell”.

    Yea, ok, like they care??? So please do us a favor and PLEASE DO!

  23. To all you complaining about how the big, bad, mean Howell cops gave you a ticket for breaking the law, do us all a favor and stay out of our town. I’ve lived here for over twenty years and have had numerous dealings with our wonderful police dept through out those years and never once have I been treated unfairly. Ever heard the phrase “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”? Stay in Lakewood and out of our town if you cant obey the laws and keep our town safe.

  24. I agree with ‘Howell Resident’ Howell and Jackson will not look the other way when someone rolls through a stop sign, passes a school bus or drives carelessly. The smart move is to stay away from these towns. You may view the above comment as rude, but perhaps it is wise to listen. People outside Lakewood see what has become of a once beautiful, safe and tranquil town and are not going to let it happen to their own towns.

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